- Lions are the only big cats with a fully social lifestyle that live and hunt in family groups called prides.
- Females typically spend their entire lives in the same pride – but males are kicked out around age three and expected to take over other prides by battling the dominant male.
- If they prevail, the new, triumphant males will frequently kill all cubs remaining reliant on their mothers.
Watch Two Male Lions Battle for Dominance Now!
Young Male Lions are Expected to Fight for Dominance
Dominance is a tale as old as time and in the wild, it’s more prevalent than ever. The biggest cats in Africa and the second biggest on the entire planet are lions. Additionally, they are the only fully social cats who live in family groups called prides.
Females in a pride are typically connected and frequently live their entire lives with that pride. Yet, from around 3 years of age, males are expelled from the group. At this stage, they frequently adopt a nomadic lifestyle or coexist with other males, frequently their siblings.
What you’re about to witness is the equivalent of two men taking part in a bar fight over a pretty girl … except with lions, they’re a bit more unhinged. It is standard lion behavior to fight for dominance in a pride.
A male lion’s gorgeous, thick mane serves as both a status symbol and a neck protector in a battle. The present male or coalition of males will fight if another male attempts to take over the pride. If they prevail, new, triumphant males will frequently kill all cubs remaining reliant on their mothers.
Although it may appear cruel, the new pride leaders are ensuring that they devote their time and resources to caring for and defending their own pups by acting in this way. In this video, two lions go toe-to-toe in an attempt to earn the title of pride leader.
Is It Normal for Male Lions to Fight?
Lions are known as the laziest of the big cats – sometimes sleeping for 20 hours a day. Why do they need so much rest? Because their non-resting life is one bloody battle after another. For the lioness, hunting for food and defending her cubs are her main struggles. For the males, if they are kings of a pride they must constantly defend it and their crown. If they are rogue males or part of a small group of males called a coalition, they must engage in one battle after another until they are finally victorious or killed. This circle of life is rough business!
Males begin this perilous journey around age three when the dominant male – usually their own father, kicks them out of their childhood pride to make their own way. Usually, a brother or cousin or two will accompany them to form a family coalition or they will meet another rogue male along the way. The young coalition usually tracks other prides looking for weakness – old age or injury – in the dominant males. If they see an opening – they take it. Prides are usually led by up to three dominant males – so the winning coalition can reign together.
A Battle for the Crown
As they charge at each other, we see the lionesses in the area scurry away to safety. Any other lion around during these interactions can be hurt. With their powerful jaws wide open, these big cats hold nothing back as they attack one another.
A viewer has this to say about the encounter: “It’s amazing how lions are considered the epitome of bravery and ferocity throughout all of history regardless of geographical location or cultural traditions. Truly deserving of the title king of the jungle!”
You’ll get chills as you watch these two battle it out. Thankfully, neither walked away with grave injuries. The pride crowned a winner after a short fight for the role. Take a look at the intense interaction below!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Henrico Muller/Shutterstock.com
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